As previously reported, Levien this summer bought out United’s primary investor, Indonesia’s Erick Thohir, and teamed with Steve Kaplan to form controlling interest in United. Levien and Kaplan are majority shareholders in Swansea City and former colleagues in the ownership of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.
Thohir had considered retaining a small share in the MLS team but decided to divest completely.
“Erick’s unwavering support led to us achieving what many thought was impossible — the building of a new home for D.C. United,” Levien said in citing $400 million Audi Field in Southwest Washington. “I will forever be grateful for his friendship and commitment to this project.”
Thohir — and, to a smaller extent, Levien — raised $250 million to build the 20,000-seat stadium. (The city covered the balance, for the purpose of land acquisition and infrastructure costs.)
Financial details of United’s ownership shift were not disclosed. Last year, Forbes valued United at $230 million, a figure that, in anticipation of Audi Field’s opening last month, grew 48 percent since 2016.
The deal came several weeks after talks between Levien and Patrick Soon-Shiong closed without an agreement for the Los Angeles billionaire to become a prominent figure in United’s ownership.
Aside from Kaplan, the other new investors are Al Tylis, a former real estate executive from New York; Ed Shapiro, who operated a hedge-fund firm in Boston; Robert Hernreich, a former owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and MLB’s Texas Rangers, among other sports franchises; Romie Chaudhari, a real estate executive from Los Angeles; and Dan Gilbert, who used to work with Tylis at Northstar, Inc.
Hernreich and Levien have known one another since both were involved with the Kings; Levien was general counsel and assistant general manager in 2009-10.
Levien and Kaplan’s ties also include ventures in esports and technology projects.
After Levien and Kaplan, Tylis and Shapiro will have the next-largest stakes in the team.
Gilbert is the only one not involved with Swansea City, which fell out of the Premier League this past spring and is competing in the second-tier English Championship this season.
Kaplan, co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, is vice chairman of the Grizzlies, though he is expected to accept a buyout offer from majority owner Robert Pera. In anticipation of a deal, Kaplan and Tylis attended United’s July 25 home match against the New York Red Bulls.
MLS’s board of governors last week approved United’s restructured investment group.